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PM visits flooded areas, urges safety

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Residents in Prek Chrey village in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district flee floodwaters on Saturday. Hong Menea

PM visits flooded areas, urges safety

Prime Minister Hun Sen urged caution as floods across the country led to at least 24 deaths and forced more than 270,000 people to take shelter in flooded homes or under makeshift tents.

After inspecting conditions and visiting flood victims in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district on Thursday night, Hun Sen said floodwaters in Kampong Speu province had receded somewhat and the area is returning to normal. But flooding in certain parts of Dangkor and Kandal Stung district in Kandal province have not receded yet.

“Over the past few days, residents of Phnom Penh and some provinces are living in difficulty because their houses are flooded,” he said.

Hun Sen urged the authorities to exercise increased caution and provide first aid to flood victims. They have to provide medicine to minimise risks.

“We need to make sure children don’t play in the water and don’t drink unclean water that leads to illness,” he said.

The prime minister said Phnom Penh, Kandal and Banteay Meanchey provinces continue to face the worst flooding.

Banteay Meanchey Provincial Hall spokesman Ly Sary said on Sunday floodwater flowing along the stream from Battambang’s Bavel district and the Thai border killed 13 people and inundated 15,111 houses, leading to the evacuation of 11,172 people.

He said floods had damaged 41,484ha of rice crop, more than 2,800ha of cassava and cash crop, and inundated 84 schools and 489 roads.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation and evacuate citizens from heavily flooded areas to high ground and also give first aid to victims,” he said.

Nhem Phearum, the head of Banteay Meanchey province’s Thma Puok District Referral Hospital, said on Sunday that the water flowing from the Thai border flooded the hospital. Twenty four patients and 69 people, including doctors and staff, were evacuated to Svay Chek Referral Hospital and Mongkol Borei Referral Hospital.

“The water flooded beds. So, we could not continue to treat patients in such a risky situation. We had to evacuate them,” he said.

Meanwhile, 135 donors donated for more than $6.8 million, 434 million riel ($106,000) and €5,000 ($5,860) to support an immediate solution to people affected by floods in the country, according to Hun Sen’s Facebook page on Saturday.

On Sunday, the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) reported that the rain-induced floods had claimed 24 lives and affected more than 270,000 people in 19 provinces. A total of 26,608 people were evacuated to safety.

The floods have affected nearly 170,000ha of rice crop, of which 32,382ha were completely destroyed. More than 73,000ha of cash crop has been damaged, with 38,000ha completely destroyed. More than 344km of national and provincial roads and nearly 1,500km of rural roads were harmed.

NCDM spokesman Khun Sokha said on Sunday the government donated 200 million riel to help 20 families that lost members to flooding.

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